How many tax returns are the top 0.1%?

I had not quite realized how few households pundits are talking about.  I’ve railed against exhibits like this one, because they are used by people who don’t distinguish between the 1%, the 0.1% and the ridiculous 0.01% in the graph:

Well, the IRS has released its tax return information. Before you read further, do you know how many returns there are in each of the 1%, 0.1% and 0.01%?

Well, here’s a summary: (updated for the first comment. My bad)

  • 1% = 1,350,000 (and they paid 38% of the tax on 19% of the income)
  • 0.1% = 135,000 – about the size of the U Mich Football stadium (and they paid about 18% of the tax on 9% of the income)
  • 0.01% = about 13,500 returns, or enough to fill the Dunkin’ Donuts center in Providence. Tax share not stated

We’re practically in bills of attainder here.

Kudos to the Tax Foundation for highlighting the discontinuities (1986 and 2000) I’ve discussed within their tables.


UPDATE: Political Calculations has a couple of good charts:

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